JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister is calling on world leaders not to recognize the Palestinian unity government expected to be formed Monday because of its affiliation with the militant group Hamas.
Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the unity government will "strengthen terrorism" because Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says such fears are unfounded. He says the government will be comprised entirely of apolitical technocrats and will recognize Israel and renounce violence.
The new government is meant to end a seven-year split between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement. While Hamas will not sit in the government, it has agreed to back it, raising Israeli concerns.
Abbas says Israel has threatened punitive measures against the Palestinians because of the deal.